Whether you’ve just purchased a recreational vehicle (RV) or renting one for the week, your first RV trip is an exciting event. However, it’s completely normal to feel a bit apprehensive too. After all, RV’ing can seem like a very inclusive lifestyle with a lot to learn about campgrounds and their rules, and the vehicle itself.
The more you RV, the more you’ll learn all the tricks of a seasoned RVer, but for the purpose of making your first or second trip go as smoothly as possible, we have 6 tips to consider.
1. Check your insurance coverage
If you plan to rent an RV you may need to arrange for additional coverage from your insurance broker. Some rental companies have minimum age requirements.
2. Don’t travel too far from home during your first trip
Though you might be tempted to start planning your cross-country trip or visiting the far off hot spots you’ve always wanted to see, the first trip should be relatively close to home. If anything goes awry, you won’t be in the middle of nowhere, and being within a couple hours from home makes it possible to call family or friends to help you out of a jam.
Staying in familiar territory will be less stressful, and give you a chance to get a feel for the vehicle and a better sense of what you need and don’t need.
3. Stay at a trusted campground
Choose a good, reputable RV stop or campground that gets a lot of visitors each year and knows how to deal with RV dilemmas. RVs can take you to many remote places, but as you learn the ropes, it’s better to go to an RV stop or campground around other people. Choosing stops with knowledgeable staff that keep RV supplies can really help out in unexpected situations, and if you have any questions they can be one of your resources. Also, when reserving your spot, know the length and class of your RV so you will get the proper sized spot..
4. Attend a class on RV maintenance
It doesn’t hurt to look for a class that can teach you about general maintenance, and how to properly use all the features your RV has. Classes are great for going over common problems and scenarios you might encounter while on a trip. Being able to troubleshoot some of these problems on the road will help your camping trip go as smooth as possible.
5. Keep your RV organized
When living out of an RV, organization is the key to staying sane. When you really need to find something (like a flashlight, first aid kit, batteries, or even dog food) you don’t want to have to pull everything out from every corner. The last thing you want while on the road is to complicate things for yourself, so simplify your space by keeping things labeled and organized before you head out.
6.Resist the temptation to “wing it”
The desire to live spontaneously is understandable when your home is on wheels, but having the important things planned in advance can make your trip more enjoyable in the long run. When you have these bases covered, you can be spontaneous with your time knowing you’re prepared:
The budget: How much can you afford to spend on food, gas, fun, and the unexpected
Food: Will you mostly be making your own meals or eating out?
Route: Know where you’re going, what’s in the area and alternative routes
Stops: Rest stops or attractions you want to see
Campgrounds: Where along the route you plan to stay
With these tips in mind, you’ll be better prepared and able to focus on the fun parts of your trip and more easily handle any mishaps.
Also, don’t forget to register your RV license plate with Windshieldink. You never know when someone needs to get a hold of you about an issue with your RV if you’re not around, or maybe they just want to say hello to a fellow RVer.
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